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Control of Interface Nanoscale Structure Created by Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition

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journal contribution
posted on 28.09.2011 by Someswara R. Peri, Bulent Akgun, Sushil K. Satija, Hao Jiang, Jesse Enlow, Timothy J. Bunning, Mark D. Foster
Tailoring the structure of films deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) to specific applications requires a depth-resolved understanding of how the interface structures in such films are impacted by variations in deposition parameters such as feed position and plasma power. Analysis of complementary X-ray and neutron reflectivity (XR, NR) data provide a rich picture of changes in structure with feed position and plasma power, with those changes resolved on the nanoscale. For plasma-polymerized octafluorocyclobutane (PP-OFCB) films, a region of distinct chemical composition and lower cross-link density is found at the substrate interface for the range of processing conditions studied and a surface layer of lower cross-link density also appears when plasma power exceeds 40 W. Varying the distance of the feed from the plasma impacts the degree of cross-linking in the film center, thickness of the surface layer, and thickness of the transition region at the substrate. Deposition at the highest power, 65 W, both enhances cross-linking and creates loose fragments with fluorine content higher than the average. The thickness of the low cross-link density region at the air interface plays an important role in determining the width of the interface built with a layer subsequently deposited atop the first.